Saturday, 28 February 2009

Daring Bakers 13: Flourless Chocolate Cake

The February 2009 challenge is hosted by Wendy of WMPE's blog and Dharm of Dad ~ Baker & Chef.
We have chosen a Chocolate Valentino cake by Chef Wan; a Vanilla Ice Cream recipe from Dharm and a Vanilla Ice Cream recipe from Wendy as the challenge.

Last February was my first ever Daring Baker challenge - it's been great year and a very challenging year too but it makes me look forward to what's next even more. I was looking forward to making this month's challenge from the moment I first read about it..... I mean who doesn't love chocolate cake????? Well my hubby, but that's not really anything to go by. And ice cream too???? A fantastic challenge.

I've made a similar cake before, Bruce Bogtrotter's Chocolate Cake, which did have a little flour and some sugar in there too and just tasted incredible so remembering my thoughts of this and my youth group's love for that cake I was excited to make this month's challenge.

I set about making the ice cream first and used Dharm's recipe. So tasty and creamy, I love it.

Dharm's Ice Cream Recipe
Classic Vanilla Ice Cream

Preparation Time: 30 minutes

Recipe comes from the Ice Cream Book by Joanna Farrow and Sara Lewis (tested modifications and notes in parentheses by Dharm)


1 Vanilla Pod (or substitute with vanilla extract)
300ml / ½ pint / 1 ¼ cups Semi Skimmed Milk – in the U.S. this is 2% fat (or use fresh full fat milk that is pasteurised and homogenised {as opposed to canned or powdered}). Dharm used whole milk.
4 large egg yolks
75g / 3oz / 6 tbsp caster sugar {superfine sugar can be achieved in a food processor or use regular granulated sugar}
5ml / 1 tsp corn flour {cornstarch}
300ml / ½ pint / 1 ¼ cups Double Cream (48% butter fat) {in the U.S. heavy cream is 37% fat)
{you can easily increase your cream's fat content by heating 1/4 cup of heavy cream with 3 Tbs of butter until melted - cool to room temperature and add to the heavy cream as soon as whisk marks appear in the cream, in a slow steady stream, with the mixer on low speed. Raise speed and continue whipping the cream) or use heavy cream the difference will be in the creaminess of the ice cream.

1. Using a small knife slit the vanilla pod lengthways. Pour the milk into a heavy based saucepan, add the vanilla pod and bring to the boil. Remove from heat and leave for 15 minutes to allow the flavours to infuse
Lift the vanilla pod up. Holding it over the pan, scrape the black seeds out of the pod with a small knife so that they fall back into the milk. SET the vanilla pod aside and bring the milk back to the boil.
2. Whisk the egg yolks, sugar and corn-flour in a bowl until the mixture is thick and foamy. 3. Gradually pour in the hot milk, whisking constantly. Return the mixture to the pan and cook over a gentle hear, stirring all the time
4. When the custard thickens and is smooth, pour it back into the bowl. Cool it then chill.
5. By Hand: Whip the cream until it has thickened but still falls from a spoon. Fold it into the custard and pour into a plastic tub or similar freeze-proof container. Freeze for 6 hours or until firm enough to scoop, beating it twice (during the freezing process – to get smoother ice cream or else the ice cream will be icy and coarse)
By Using and Ice Cream Maker: Stir the cream into the custard and churn the mixture until thick (follow instructions on your ice cream maker)

Earlier this week I had my good friend Sio from Cake Creations round to the house for a bake-a-thon and we made the cake together.

One of the criteria for this month was that we made this with our favourite chocolate. I used Belgian chocolate (about 50% cocoa), which while it isn't my favourite chocolate for everyday consumption, I prefer a chocolate cake to be that taste of somewhere between milk chocolate (about 30% cocoa) and dark chocolate (about 70% cocoa).

Another of the criteria was the option to make it a true Valentino - heart shaped. Thank you Sio for bringing your heart shaped tin. We had enough batter for making the heart shaped cake and a few little round muffin sized ones.

Flourless Chocolate Cake
Preparation Time: 20 minutes


16 ounces (1 pound) (454 grams) of semisweet chocolate, roughly chopped
½ cup (1 stick) plus 2 tablespoons (146 grams total) of unsalted butter
5 large eggs separated

1. Put chocolate and butter in a heatproof bowl and set over a pan of simmering water (the bottom of the bowl should not touch the water) and melt, stirring often.
2. While your chocolate butter mixture is cooling. Butter your pan and line with a parchment circle then butter the parchment.
3. Separate the egg yolks from the egg whites and put into two medium/large bowls.
4. Whip the egg whites in a medium/large grease free bowl until stiff peaks are formed (do not over-whip or the cake will be dry).
5. With the same beater beat the egg yolks together.
6. Add the egg yolks to the cooled chocolate.
7. Fold in 1/3 of the egg whites into the chocolate mixture and follow with remaining 2/3rds. Fold until no white remains without deflating the batter. {link of folding demonstration}
8. Pour batter into prepared pan, the batter should fill the pan 3/4 of the way full, and bake at 375F/190C
9. Bake for 25 minutes until an instant read thermometer reads 140F/60C.
Note – If you do not have an instant read thermometer, the top of the cake will look similar to a brownie and a cake tester will appear wet.
10. Cool cake on a rack for 10 minutes then unmold.


  1. This cake is totally dangerous isn't it? You did a great job - one would have thought, save the pan shape that you and I worked out of the same kitchen :)

  2. Just add eggs...Ruth, & tonnes of chocolate! YAY for you. It's wickedly delicious & the ice-cream looks SO GOOD! YUM!!

  3. Yaay! It looks perfect, Ruth! Good job!

  4. congrats on complete 1 year DB! the cake looks great - well done!

  5. Looks perfect.. love the icecream:)

  6. Ruth, this looks divine!


  7. The ice cream really looks awesome!

  8. ciao ! I love your presentation !!

  9. Looks scrummy Ruth!! Oh wow all that yummy choccy ;0)

    Rosie x

  10. This was my first Daring Bakers challenge and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Just as enjoyable is reading other participants' stories about their own efforts. You sound like you had a lot of fun with the challenge and your photo results look great.

  11. Congratulations on your one year anniversary! Your cake and ice cream look great!


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